During the presentation, Ian Johnston from the Engine will first be discussing the structure, motivations, and perspectives of venture capital firms. Throughout this, Ian will shed light on the range of VC firm types and how his firm, the Engine, aims to differentiate themselves, particularly in tough tech investments. Lastly, Ian will discuss some of the key details, metrics, etc., that founders should consider when initially talking to VCs and seeking their first funding.

Attendees will have the opportunity to virtually meet with Ian Johnson one on one following the presentation.

Requests for accommodations can be made when you register to attend. Please provide at least 7 days advance notice.

Watch the full webinar on YouTube [00:59:58]

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Speaker Bio

Ian Johnston has B.S. in biomedical engineering from Rutgers University working in microfluidics developing assays to detect inflammation and infections in high risk surgery. He attended the University of Pennsylvania to pursue my PhD in pharmacology, specifically cardiovascular and hematologic pharmacology. Johnston worked on modeling diseases to understand their pathogenesis and investigate novel therapeutics. During his time at UPenn, he also worked at the Penn Center for Innovation, the patent office, assessing technologies throughout the Penn community. Additionally, for four years of his PhD, he worked in the health consulting club out of Wharton Business School, elevating to VP of Consulting. This led him to two years in life science strategy consulting called Putnam Associates. 

Last September, Johnston joined the Engine working on the investment team. The Engine, built by MIT, is a venture firm that invests in early-stage companies solving the world’s biggest problems through the convergence of breakthrough science, engineering, and leadership. Their mission is to accelerate the path to market for Tough Tech companies by providing access to a unique combination of investment, infrastructure, and community. The Engine was conceived and created by MIT to address the unmet need for sustained support for startups with the potential to solve complex, existential challenges and make a material, positive impact on society.  Propelled out of MIT in 2016, The Engine was designed as an “innovation orchard” where Tough Tech founders receive capital, knowledge, network connections, and access to specialized equipment they need to continue to discover and commercialize foundational, disruptive technology. The Engine’s focus is platform companies that eliminate the boundaries of innovation and serve as a catalyst for new fields, enabling our founders to drive meaningful forward progress for the world while also driving massive financial returns.


Who can attend?

Open to graduate students and undergraduates.

Registration is required.